Pat Cash said the strict all-white dress code for tennis players at Wimbledon has “gone ridiculous”.
The 1987 Wimbledon champion spoke out about the tightened up clothing rules not long before his manager confirmed he will not play at the legends’ matches at the tournament.
Duncan March said the Australian’s withdrawal is because he has a sore back – and insisted it has nothing to do with clothing rules.
But Mr March added: “Pat would be naturally disappointed that he couldn’t wear his headband.”
The black and white checked headband famously worn by Cash throughout his career would break the current rules at the SW19 Grand Slam.
Mr March said a referee told Cash his headband “probably won’t be allowed”, and that Cash replied: “You must be joking.”
Cash claims tennis players at Wimbledon have been told to change their underwear when it was noticed it was not entirely white.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live some of the women have been sent back to “change their bras and tops because they had slight colour on them”.
Cash added that he believed some of them did not have suitable sports bras and had to go without them.
He also claimed one of the players was called into the referees’ office because he had blue underwear “that showed through when he got sweaty” so he was told not to wear dark underwear.
“It has absolutely gone ridiculous,” he said.
A spokeswoman at Wimbledon said all the players were written to before the Championships about the white clothing rule.
She did not confirm any breaches of the dress code.
In the letter, players were told caps, headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks must be totally white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre.
Shoes must be almost entirely white, including the soles, players were informed.
They were also told: “Any undergarments that either are or can be visible during play (including due to perspiration) must also be completely white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre (10mm). In addition, common standards of decency are required at all times.”
Mr March said they made it known to the club at the start of the tournament that Cash may not be fit to play.
As well as a sore back, Cash also has a knee injury, his manager said, adding: “He loves Wimbledon.”
His partner for the legends’ competition was set to be fellow Australian Mark Woodforde, and Mr March said Cash would not let Woodforde down “for a change in clothing”.